Just the fact that you’re reading this sentence right now tells me so much about you, friend.
It doesn’t matter how you got here. Maybe you’re part of my email list. Maybe this post popped up in your LinkedIn feed. Maybe a friend sent you a link. Maybe it’s the middle of the night and you stumbled on this post after Googling “personal development” or “self care.”
Whatever path brought you to this post, I know for a fact that the journey started with a spark that you share with every other person who will read these words.
You want to grow.
The last two years have challenged all of us. That challenge may have taken different shapes, but to me, it highlighted something that’s so important and so easy to forget. The thing that ties each of us together...
We are human.
And for me, that’s the beginning and end of every step we take in our unique journeys. Embracing that truth is the start to answering any question we might have along the way.
I think that’s why Google’s “Year in Search” video resonated with me so much this year. Because when I watched it, I saw that even in a year when many of us felt so isolated—physically, socially, emotionally—we were joined in that struggle.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, I’m going to encourage to (grab 12 tissues and) watch it right now:
When we typed those words into our search bars, what we were really looking for was a sense of connection. We weren’t looking for Google to simply spit out an answer, we were searching for other people who had experienced uncertainty and could help reassure us that there was a way forward.
We were looking for each other.
But you know what else really hit me about that video?
The questions people were asking all over the world were the things that you and I talk about every day in our 100% Human spaces.
Let’s draw power from the fact that we’re asking these questions together. Because it’s a reminder of our shared human-ness. (Yep, that’s right, I made up that word, and I own it!)
In spite of our different experiences, we’re all looking in the same direction together. We’re all learning how to take meaningful steps to take better care of ourselves. Because we know that when we take care of ourselves, we can be the best version of ourselves in whatever our role—parent, teacher, CEO, spouse, engineer, friend, coach. All of the above, haha.
And all of those little steps, those moment-by-moment choices, matter so so much. Because collectively, they are a force for good.
When I watched that video, I remembered that this year gave us so many signs of the good we can each do when we embrace our whole selves.
Simone Biles showed the world the deep power in sharing our vulnerabilities.
Adam Grant taught us that being open to what we don’t know is the realest form of intelligence.
Naomi Osaka helped us see that we do not have to subject ourselves to other people’s negativity just to please the world.
Harry and Meghan modeled what it looks like to break the cycle of silence on our pain and trauma and then open spaces for other people to release themselves from that cycle as well.
You may not have their levels of celebrity, but never ever doubt that your actions can also make change in this world.
Someone is watching you.
Someone is learning from you.
Someone will quietly begin to model the behavior you were able to show them when you stepped into your own strength.
KA: When you think about the human body, it is beautifully complex, and there are so many different pieces and parts of the body that work. And they only work well because they work together. That is who we are as a human race. We work better when we work together, so please never downplay or think that what you’re doing is less than someone else’s. No no no, that’s not what it is. Everyone has a role to play, a contribution to make, and all of it holds equal value…
PQ: I love that analogy of the human body and recognizing that, not only does the body work together, there are parts that cannot perform the same function as other parts.
Did. You. Hear. That?!
YOU bring to the world something only you can, and you bring it to people who only you can touch. So whether you have a million followers on Instagram or a primetime Oprah interview or you coach ten kids on the Little League team or spend twenty minutes pep-talking your best friend before her big interview, all it takes is being intentional in your interactions with the people in your corner of the world.
So here are my answers to some of the questions my fellow beautiful humans asked Google most in 2021.
🔎 how to heal…
When I hear that woman in the video say, “I am broken, and I am healing,” I think she speaks for every single one of us. We are all broken, and we are all healing.
That’s the true measure of your strength—to be able to hold space in the same moment for the part of you that is in pain and the part of you that believes you can move forward. You can feel completely broken and still take steps toward healing. You can feel completely defeated but refuse to stop fighting.
I can honestly say that eight years later, after losing virtually everything and starting from ground zero, I still experience pockets of pain that pop up unannounced and need healing.
What we’ve gone through as a planet in the past two years has been incredibly difficult, tricky, and disruptive. We have started to heal, but there will be lots of healing to come. And that healing will come to us in moments and in waves and at times when we least expect it.
Our job as humans is just to be open to it and have faith that it will find us.
So if you’re wondering how to heal, here is my advice…
Take it moment by moment.
Do what’s right for you.
And lean into the positive spaces that support your healing.
🔎 how to take care of your mental health…
When Naomi Osaka said, “I think I’m going to take a break for a while,” I heard another human say one of the most powerful things I think we can voice—“What I do is not all of who I am.”
Let me tell you, that’s a truth bomb all overachievers—myself included—need to hear.
Recently HubSpot’s Chief People Officer, Katie Burke, announced in their All Hands Meeting that the company is going to be making rest a part of their operations. If one of the world’s leading digital marketing agencies can acknowledge that rest is critical for success, you should feel the authority to make rest a part of your personal operations as well.
I am thankful that I have people in my life who remind me of this regularly, but in case you don’t have someone to do it, let me be that person for you.
Remember to take a break. Nap. Doodle. Sit in the sun. Listen to music. And know that rest is one tool in your mental health toolbox, and this community exists to help you uncover all the tools to support your mental wellbeing.
🔎 how to make a comeback…
The human spirit is strong, and with that in mind, I can tell you with absolute confidence…
You are stronger than you think you are.
I know that you can come back from absolutely any disappointment, challenge, or heartbreak. And I want to encourage you to think about your comeback not as a process to get you back to where you were before, but as an opportunity to use everything you’ve been through to come back better and stronger and wiser than you could’ve ever imagined.
The way we take something bad and turn it into something good is by using those hard times to refine us into the person we truly want to be.
I saw a quote on Pinterest once that said, “Let your comeback be stronger than your setback.”
Your comeback will always be stronger if you take responsibility for how you respond to it, how you heal through it, and how you grow from it.
My hope is that when you watch this video, when you read this blog, when you ask Google the questions that burn in your soul, you also hear this message:
You are not alone.
Everyone struggles. Everyone has hardships. Even the most ahhmazing, positive, successful people are fighting their own battles. Everyone is going through something.
The beauty in that is that these struggles are what unite us.
Even when we feel isolated, we never struggle alone. Let that empower you to move forward. Even when we are sure that no one could possibly understand what we are going through, there is another human reaching out with the same fear, the same hope, the same desire for connection to something greater.
We are more alike than we are different.
Remembering that is what it means to be 100% Human.